I have something of an obsession with owls. I spend a lot of time searching for them, I invested a lot of money on special lenses to photograph them, and I cover a lot of miles getting to where they might be found. Yet most of the time, I come up empty handed.
They are like ghosts.
I rented a cabin in Sequoia National Forest, and for the last three nights, as dusk was creeping in, I heard a Great Horned Owl calling from the woods. I went out each night and prowled through the trees, looking for his distinctive shape against the darkening sky. But each time he eluded me.
Until last night.
I came upon a little clearing, and there he was, a magnificent Great Horned Owl. The sun was minutes away from sinking behind the mountain and dropping a curtain of black velvet over the entire valley. But my friend had chosen a branch that was getting the absolute last pool of sunlight to be found, and he sat there just long enough for me to photograph him before he vanished like a ghost into the night.